« PreviousContinue »
Idol. 1. i. c. 18. Bochart.
BOOK the three sons of Noah and those of Saturn, Jupiter,
Neptune, and Pluto, have their peculiar resemblances Vossius de to each other: of which Vossius and Bochartus have
largely spoken, and we have touched on already. BePbaleg. 1. i. sides which, this latter author hath carried the parallel
c. I, 2.
lower, and finds Canaan, the son of Cham, the same with Mercury, the son of Jupiter. As it was the curse of Canaan to be a servant of servants, so Mercury is always described under servile employments. His wings seem to be the ships of the Phænicians, who were derived from Canaan, and his being the god of trade, noting the great merchandise of the Phænicians, and Mercury's thievery noting the piracies, or at least the subtlety and craft of the Phænicians. He was the father of eloquence and astronomy; as letters and astronomy came from the Phænicians into Greece. The same author parallels Nimrod and Bacchus, and Magog and Prometheus together. The name of Bacchus is but a light variation of wona, Bar-chus; as Nimrod was the son of Chus, and Bacchus is called Nebrodes by the Greeks, which is the very name of Nimrod among them; and Bacchus is called Zwypeùs, which excellently interprets Nimrod's being a mighty hunter. Bacchus's expeditions into India were the
attempts of Nimrod and the Assyrian emperors; on Vossius de which account Vossius makes Nimrod or Belus the
most ancient Mars; for Hestiæus Milesius speaks of Enyalius, which is Mars, his being in Sennaar of Babylonia. That the memory of Magog was preserved under Prometheus, these things make it probable, that Magog was the son of Japhet, as Prometheus of Iapetus; and that the posterity of Magog was placed about Caucasus, where Prometheus is feigned to lie: and the eating of Prometheus's heart is only an interpretation of aar; which, applied to the heart, sig
Idol. 1. i.
nifies to waste away, and be consumed. Thus far chap. Bochartus.
The Phænician antiquities seem to have preserved the memory of Abraham's sacrificing his son Isaac, by that place which Eusebius produceth out of Porphyry's book concerning the Jews; where he relates, how V. Scaliger
ad Frag. Saturn, whom the Phænicians call Israel, when he Græc. reigned in those parts, and had an only son called Jeoud, of a nymph called Anobret, being under some great calamity, did sacrifice that son of his, being clothed with a royal habit. Here we have a royal person called Israel; and that Abraham should be accounted a king in those elder times is nothing strange, considering his wealth, and what petty royalties there were in those times. But Grotius, and from him Grot. in Vossius, do not think that Abraham was here called Israel, but that the transcriber of Eusebius meeting idol. 1. i. with ir, supposed it to be a contraction of 'lopaña, and c. 18. so writ at length. It must be acknowledged that in is used in the Phænician theology for Saturn; but yet the circumstances of the story make the ordinary reading not improbable: neither is it strange that Abraham should be called by the name of the people which he was the progenitor of. That Isaac should be meant by his only son called Jeoud, is most likely; for when God bids Abraham go sacrifice him, he saith, Take Gen.xxii.2. thy son, 7°, thy only son ; Jehid is the same with the Phænician Jeoud. That Sara is meant by Anobret, the original of the name implies; which is, as Bochartus derives it, naw-7, Annoberet, that is, ex Bochart. de gratia concipiens; which the apostle explains, Through 1. ii. c. 2. faith Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed. Now all the difference is, that which was only designed and intended by Abraham, was believed by the Phoenicians as really done, that it might be as a precedent
Heb. xi. II. III.
BOOK to them for their ar&pwaibolai, sacrificing of men; a
thing so much in use among the Phænicians, and all the colonies derived from them, as many learned men have at large shewed. But besides this, there are particular testimonies concerning Abraham, his age, wisdom, and knowledge; his coming out of Chaldæa, and the propagation of knowledge from him among the
Chaldæans, Phænicians, and Egyptians, are extant out Joseph. An- of Berosus, Eupolemus, and others, in Josephus and tiq. I.i. c.8. Eus. Præp.
Eusebius, and from thence transcribed by many learned Evang. l.ix.
men, which on that account I forbear transcribing, as being common and obvious.
Some have not improbably conjectured, that the memory of Jacob's long peregrination and service with his uncle Laban, was preserved under the story of
Apollo's banishment, and being a shepherd under AdCallimach. metus. For Callimachus reports, that love was the Hymn. in Apoll. cause of Apollo's travels, as it was of Jacob's; and
withal mentions a strange increase of cattle under
Apollo's care, answerable to what the Scripture reGen.xxviii
. ports concerning Jacob. But it is more certain that Scalig. Not. the memory of Jacob's setting up the stone he had iu Frag. Gr.
rested on for a pillar, and pouring oil upon it, and calling the place Bethel, was preserved under the an
ointed stones, which the Phænicians from Bethel called Diis Syris. V. Hein, in Baitúdia, as hath been frequently observed by learned Strom. 7. men; from whence came the custom of anointing ad Theoph. stones among the heathens, of which so very many
have largely discoursed. Thence the proverb of a Arno...superstitious man, πάντα λίθον λιπαρών προσκυνεϊ, which Apul. Flor. Arnobius calls lubricatum lapidem, et ex olivi un
guine sordidatum. It seems the anointing the stones Minuc. de with oil was then the symbol of the consecration of Idol . 1. i. them. The name Baitulos for such a stone occurs in
Hesychius, the Greek etymologists, Damascius in Pho
p. 295. Herald. ad
Quzel. et Elmenhorst. ad
tius, and others. That the memory of Joseph in Egypt CHAP. was preserved under the Egyptian Apis, hath been shewed with a great deal of probability by the learned Vossius, in his often-cited piece of idolatry, from the testimonies of Julius Maternus, Rufinus, and Suidas ; and from these three arguments. 1. The greatness of the benefit which the Egyptians received by Joseph ; which was of that nature that it could not easily be forgot, and that no symbol was so proper to set it out as the Egyptian Apis, because the famine was portended by lean kine, and the plenty by fat; and Minucius at Rome, for relieving the people in a time of famine, had a statue of a golden bull erected to his memory. 2. The Egyptians were not backward to testify their respect to Joseph, as appears by Pharaoh's rewarding him. Now it was the custom of the Egyptians to preserve the memories of their great benefactors by some symbols to posterity; which were at first intended only for a civil use, although they were after abused to superstition and idolatry. 3. From the names of Apis and Serapis. Apis he conceives to be the sacred name of Joseph among the Egyptians, and is as much as 2x, father; so Joseph himself saith, he was as a father to Pharaoh. And Serapis, as Rufinus and Suidas both tell us, had a bushel upon his head; and Serapis is probably derived from 910, Sor, Gen. xlv. 8. which signifies a bull, and Apis. So that by this means the story of Joseph is attested by the Egyptians' superstitions ; of which they can give no account so likely as this is.
Many things concerning Moses are preserved in the story of Bacchus; not that from thence we are to conclude that Moses was the Bacchus of the Greeks, as Vossius thinks; but they took several parts of the eastern traditions concerning him, which they might
Idol. 1. i.
BOOK have from the Phænicians who came with Cadmus
into Greece, while the memory of Moses was yet fresh Vossius de among the Canaanites. In the story of Bacchus, as
Vossius observes, it is expressly said that he was born in Egypt, and that soon after his birth he was put in an ark, and exposed to the river; which tradition was preserved among the Brasiatæ of Laconica : and Bacchus in Orpheus is called Mions, and by Plutarch de Iside et Osiride, Palæstinus; and he is called Bifátæp, which agrees to Moses, who, besides his own mother, was adopted by Pharaoh's daughter. Bacchus was likewise commended for his beauty, as Moses was, and was said to be educated in a mount of Arabia called Nysa; which agrees with Moses's residence in Arabia
forty years. So Plutarch mentions Quyàs Alovbocu, the Non. Dion. banishments of Bacchus; and Nonnus mentions Bac
chus's flight into the Red sea; who likewise men
tions his battles in Arabia, and with the neighbouring Diod. 1. iv. princes there. Diodorus saith, that Bacchus's army
had not only men, but women in it; which is most true of the company which Moses led. Orpheus calls Bacchus Θεσμοφόρον, and attributes to him Δίπλακα O copov: whereby we understand Moses's being a legislator, and that he delivered the laws in two tables. Moses's fetching water out of a rock with his rod, is preserved in the Orgia of Bacchus; in which Euripides relates, that Agave and the rest of the Bacchæ celebrating the Orgia, one of them touched a rock, and the water came out: and in the same Orgia Euripides reports how they were wont to crown their heads with serpents; probably in memory of the cure of the fiery serpents in the wilderness. A dog is made the companion of Bacchus; which is the signification of Caleb, who so faithfully adhered to Moses. To these and some other circumstances insisted on by Vossius,